Axemen streak grows to five with win over SMU
McFadden powers Axemen with 3 points
HALIFAX, NS – In the only AUS men’s hockey on Wednesday night, the Saint Mary’s Huskies hosted the Acadia Axemen in a close matchup and it was Acadia who came away with a 4-2 at the Dauphinee Centre in Halifax.
The quick feet of the Axemen propelled them to an early lead, as they opened the scoring seven minutes into the period. Entering the zone with speed, Jordy Stallard (Brandon, MB) dished a pass to Garrett McFadden (Kincardine, ON) who was driving to the net on the left wing and tucked the puck five-hole on Huskies goalie Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC). Stephen Harper (Burlington, ON) also assisted on the play.
Five minutes later, the Axemen doubled their lead with a shot from the point from Rodney Southam (Saskatoon, SK) that hit a leg on its way to the net and bounced right to the stick of Maurizio Colella (Tottenham, ON) in the slot for a tap in. McFadden got his second point of the night with an assist.
After killing off a penalty, the Huskies went down another goal. This time it was Loch Morrison (Christopher Lake, SK) who made a no-look pass to Ryan Foss (Oakville, ON) on the wing. Foss sent a wrist shot high blocker side on Brassard as the Axemen went up 3-0.
On the shot clock, the Axemen had a slight edge in the first frame. They led 13-12. Shots by Saint Mary’s were in dangerous territory, very close to the net, but goalie Logan Flodell (Regina, SK) was solid for Acadia.
The Huskies came out with more life in the second period, playing a faster game and finishing their checks. In the opening minutes, they got on the board with a stretch pass from Mark Trickett (Baddeck, NS) that went up the middle to Mitchell Balmas (Sydney, NS) and Keith Getson (Bridgewater, NS) who were coming off the bench. With a burst of speed past the Acadia defense, Getson had time to go five-hole on Flodell to make it 3-1.
The teams settled in the game, and Noah Zilbert (Fredericton, NB) provided some jump and energy for the Huskies late in the period. With five minutes to go, an out of control play saw Zilbert crash into Flodell. Flodell went down, but with no back–up goalie on the Axemen bench, he stayed in the game.
Play started to get chippy, as the second period ended, with the Axemen up 3-1.
About halfway through the third period, Acadia got another goal, a one-timer by Cristiano Digiacinto (Hamilton, ON) from McFadden and Southam.
Thirty seconds later, the Huskies responded with a top shelf goal by Balmas, for his fourth of the season. Getson got an assist as Saint Mary’s again narrowed the lead to two goals.
With a late power play, the Huskies pressed in the final minutes for equalizing goals as they pulled Brassard for an extra attacker, but time ran out and the Axemen came away with a 4-2 victory as they extended their win streak to five games.
The Subway Player of the Game for Acadia Axemen was Garrett McFadden, with a goal and two assists.
The Huskies travel to PEI on Friday, while the Axemen play host to the Panthers on Saturday.
Sarah Moore, SMU Communications
Photo Mona Ghiz